A is for Abstract.
Painting abstractly is not difficult. Anyone can paint an abstract fearlessly! All you need is a little desire and willingness to play. Sometimes I like to be a little representational, as you have seen in my web site gallery. And sometimes I like to live on the wild side and be abstract!
Have you ever felt like unleashing your inner artist and painting some non representational art?
Well here is your chance to learn first hand how easy it is to have some fun with abstraction!
Read on and join me today as I show you how to paint with your imagination and mind's eye.
First I start by prepping the materials that I am going to use in my painting. I can paint on watercolor paper or on canvas. Most art stores have canvases that are ready to paint on when you purchase them. I use both store bought canvases and stretch my own canvas painting surfaces preparing the surface by spreading "gesso" over the entire surface. Gesso is a product that will allow me to paint on a canvas using my water media pouring techniques.
You are going to love how easy it is for me to start my abstract creations! You can do this too!
In my first step I like to create a "road map" of forms that I can later fill in with color. I start by laying out a bunch of objects on my painting surface and then....just like when I was a kid begin to trace around the objects that are scattered across my canvas or paper. I make sure that my traced shapes intersect so that I see a mixture of small, medium and large shapes.
You can use any sort of objects to trace for your abstract landscape! Trace your scissors, spoons, jar lids, sewing accouterments or kid's toys. I will use all sorts of objects to trace and create an abstract "landscape". I even use rulers, french curves and ribbons ! When I have a composition that interests me, I then choose what colors I want to dominate my painting and where I want to create unique patterns. I like to choose colors to create mood. So if I want a "sunny" landscape I use warm sunny hues like reds, yellows or oranges If I want a quieter mood then I might choose colors like purple, green or blue to dominate my painting.
There are many ways to approach painting or coloring your work and I will address some additional ideas at the end of this blog about how you can paint your abstract without pouring paint.
For me, as is the case of all of my artwork, I am going to begin by pouring my liquefied watercolor paint all over my painting surface. But. before I can pour and dribble my paint I must use a masking agent to keep specific areas white.
As you can see from my photo, I paint/fill in my white shapes using my "removable white mask/friskit" over only those specific areas that I want to remain white. I can also use the masking agent on subsequent painted layers after the pours are dry in order keep lighter painted regions of the paper or canvas that I am working on untouched by subsequent pours. Note: that while my masking fluid is drying it turns a darker color. While waiting for this to dry, I mix up my watercolors by adding water to my watercolor paint and stirring in a cup.
Let the fun begin with color. In the next photo, I have added a poured wash of transparent watercolor over the painting's surface. In this photo, look carefully and you will see plastic cut out shapes and the painted masking agent on the surface. You can also just begin to see some of the patterns that are created inside of my larger traced shapes by painting the "friskit" in odd patterns and squiggles.
I use a variety of plastic pieces, machine made lace, ribbons or Japanese lace papers to aid in the creation of my patterns. I lay a piece of lace paper onto the surface of the wet paint. As the paint dries and the water evaporates a beautiful pattern is left behind. Each poured layer of paint also allows me to create a series of values from lights to darks which will further create form, pattern and a unique abstract composition.
After 4 or 5 separate pours of paint I let my surface dry over night.Then I remove the "friskit" by rubbing the masking agent off with either my fingers or a square "rubber cement" pick up.
You can see now how I have been incorporating a free & fun use of tracing , drawing and pouring watercolors. You can also see how I have used the "friskit" and created patterns inside of the larger shapes. What you see in my next photo is my painting with the "friskit" masking agent completely pulled off.
I now have the start of an unusual abstract imagery, but wait a minute, do you see waves and boats?
Yes you can create an abstract like this also!
I dribble, splatter and paint with acrylic paint and sometimes use paper collage adhered to the painting surface to create a pattern driven image that best suits each contemporary composition. In due course my ideas, my pours and patterns transform the pandemonium of my vivid imagination to become a painting inspired by passion’s gift and painted from my mind's eye.
I am calling this painting "Midnight Regatta" it is 17 x 22 and has been on display in this year's National Art Show at the Visual art center of Punta Gorda , Fl.
Following are few other abstract paintings to inspire you to give this technique a try! Scroll further down this page and you will find step by step instructions to help you create your own abstract art.
Now that I have shown you how much fun painting an abstract can be. How about creating your own abstract art?
As I promised earlier, here are some ideas about how you can adapt my techniques to create your own abstract art.
paper or a canvas of any size that you like
drawing pencil or pen
colored pencils, watercolor or acrylic or any type of kid's tempra paints
brushes or Q-tips ( use Q-tips like a brush)
Collect a bunch of stuff to trace and you are ready to rumble!
STEP 1 Lay out a bunch of your stuff onto a painting surface and start tracing their shapes, making sure to intersect the forms that you are tracing. Just like you saw I did in my pictures above.
STEP 2 If you are using acrylics or colored pencils
Begin by coloring the shapes that you have created in your artwork. Try to create a road of one color across the art and then fill in other areas with different colors or create patterns inside of the larger shapes using stripes or dots etc. in a pleasing fashion. Use white paint, if you desire to have light shapes in your artwork.
Are you using watercolor paints on paper? Then begin by mixing a small puddle of watercolor paint on your palette or a white paper/ plastic plate.
Next fill in a shape that you love with your brush and paint. Yes it is that simple! Now move to another shape that is not directly next door to the color that you just filled in. The idea is to let the first shape dry otherwise your paint will seep from one shape to another.
If you want to leave an area white then do not fill in that shape with water or paint. Color around those places that you want to remain pristine and paint free.
Go ahead and keep filling in areas around your artwork using first one color and then another favorite color or create patterns of lines or dots in some of the large shapes until the abstract "landscape" is filled in completely.
STEP 3 Let your painting dry for a little while or use a hairdryer to dry the surface quickly.
STEP 4 If you want you can consider layering a second layer of color over a few of your favorite shapes.
You can also outline shapes that you are particularly fond of.
You may even want to add another layer of unique patterns if you like...Hay this is an abstract you can add whatever you like to your painting. Just have fun!
Now everybody Be Fearless, Let's be creative!
If you would like to leave me a comment or have a question about the techniques I wrote of in this blog, just drop me an email.
Thank you for visiting Beattie Artworks. Please come back again soon, as I plan to have another blog, next week, about how to help you successfully and fearlessly paint other subjects like flowers and landscapes.
Together being creative we will all make it through these troubling times. So my friends stay positive. Until next time, Stay well !
My name is Elise Beattie and they call me the Fearless Artist. I paint, I teach and I promote all aspects of the arts. In this new blog site you will find a variety of creative posts dedicated to sharing knowledge about my fearless art techniques and the materials that I use. You will also be able to learn about my art classes and see photos of my newest art and the exhibitions that my work is displayed in.